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2013 Education Forum—Milestones in the First Year

As capability development is one of its key strategic objectives, SPE sponsored a forum in August 2013 on the need to ensure an appropriately educated upstream engineering workforce in 2020 and beyond. The attendees concluded that our petroleum engineering educational systems will be significantly challenged to produce the qualified talent that the oil and gas industry will need in 2020 unless the industry and academia make this issue a priority and collaborate on ways to resolve the anticipated underlying gaps (SPE-169906-WP). Forum participants volunteered to champion specific and actionable initiatives designed to help improve our industry’s ability to meet its resourcing needs in the next decade. As we mark the first anniversary of the forum, here are some of the efforts being advanced by the participants.

Sharing Resources. Laboratories are a key challenge for many educational institutions for several reasons. Higher-than-normal enrollments put pressure on having adequate laboratory space for all students to complete laboratory requirements. Additionally, laboratory equipment at many universities is in need of upgrade due to technology advancements. Most schools are unable to increase or upgrade their laboratory space or equipment because of limited funds. With the advent of automated laboratory equipment, the capability of sharing laboratories virtually is one of the initiatives that forum participants were interested in exploring. One forum team conducted a pilot survey of schools in the United States to determine the laboratory capabilities at each school, and their needs and level of interest in sharing facilities either physically or virtually. Several schools have indicated an interest in sharing facilities. The next step is to conduct a pilot to test the concept.

Another resource sharing opportunity that has made progress is a secure website where design problems, data sets, etc., can be shared among faculty. The next steps involve the faculty uploading materials that they would like to share on the website and to promote the website to faculty.

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2013 Education Forum—Milestones in the First Year

R. Chase, Marietta College, and C. Reece, SPE Management and Information Technical Director, SPE Forum Series Chairpersons

01 September 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 9

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